St. Jean Baptiste rocks Morinville this weekend

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The first full weekend of summer is nearly here and Morinville is giving plenty of reasons to enjoy every second outside.

Friday marks the start of the town’s annual St. Jean Baptiste Festival, an important celebration of French Canadian culture. With the town’s strong francophone roots, many people think of it as a bigger deal than New Year’s Eve and Canada Day combined.

When you look at how many activities and events will be taking place in conjunction with the festival, it’s unlikely anyone could be found at home. According to local resident Karen Cust, it’s a lot like a block party that takes over the whole town.

“It’s going to be fun. It just brings people out. It’s a good visit. I think that’s what you have to keep in mind. That it’s a good opportunity to get people together, that you have a visit, you learn a little bit about your neighbours.”

Cust said there will be demonstrations by both the Morinville Fire Department and a team of search and rescue dogs, plus the military will have a display. All of this helps add to the carnival atmosphere that makes for three days of fun and togetherness.

She added the festival isn’t just a celebration of being French. Of course, anglophones are allowed but she added that the heritage of Morinville has strong roots in MĂ©tis, First Nations, German and Ukrainian people as well.

“All of that is important. [The festival] just brings it all together. It’s a big visit. You learn a little bit about everybody.

Cust works at the Bumper to Bumper, the host of the Saturday evening cabaret and the afternoon show ‘n’ shine. Many of the events are sponsored and hosted by local businesses like Smith’s Music. She said that’s a big reason why her employer puts on the classic car show. It is sure to be a very popular attraction, especially with a special addition this year, a Ferrari Testarossa.

If cars don’t interest you then all you have to do is look around at the petting zoo, the midway, the tractor pull, the baseball tournament or any number of other family friendly events.

Preview

St. Jean Baptiste Festival
Location: Across Morinville
Friday, June 25 to Sunday, June 27
Events include children’s/family street dance, parade, show ‘n’ shine, entertainment, food, sports, demonstrations and other activities, including fireworks.
For more information visit www.morinville.ca

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Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.